It has been almost two years since international firm KPMG was commissioned to carry out a full audit of the expenditure of the Tortola Pier Park project and to date the final report is still not ready. According to Premier and Minister for Finance, Dr. the Hon. D. Orlando Smith the delay is attributed to data collection difficulty.
In 2016 Premier and Minister for Finance, Dr. the Hon. D. Orlando Smith admitted that $82M was expended on the cruise pier project and at that time indicated that international firm KPMG was commissioned to carry out a full audit of the expenditure.
Now in an update on the outrageously delayed report Premier and Minister for Finance Hon. Smith told the House of Assembly on 19 July that a confidential draft report was submitted to the BVI Ports Authority management for their review and comments, but there was an issue accessing all of the needed information.
In explaining the snag Hon. Smith told the House: “It is my understanding that comments on the report have been provided, however some of the information requested referred to in the report has not been located or would need to be corroborated with persons no longer connected with the BVI Ports Authority. The report completion has therefore been impacted by incomplete records or the situation of some persons who have significant knowledge of the project.”
Meanwhile Hon. Smith said that the draft report has been submitted to the BVI Ports Authority’s parent Ministry, the Ministry of Communications and Works with comments. However, he noted that the comments are yet to be finalized for publishing by KPMG.
As it relates to making the document public Hon. Smith explained that even his office has not received a copy. “The Ministry of Finance is therefore yet to receive the final report. However, I am assured that standard comments will be sent to KPMG by the middle of next week (this week).
Nonetheless, Hon. Smith said that completion and submission would not mean that the document will automatically become public. Instead the Premier explained that there is an additional process. “Once the report is received by the Ministry of Finance it would be submitted to Cabinet for consideration. Cabinet will then make a decision as to whether the report would be made public.”
Meanwhile the Premier noted that he has spoken with both the Ports Authority and the Ministry about doing their best to provide the information that was requested.